Ilppo Pohjola’s and Milja Viita’s films included in Light Cone’s Scratch Collection ’23 biennial film series curated by Mika Taanila

Mika Taanila has been entrusted the programming of Light Cone‘s third edition of Scratch Collection biennial film series. The six-part screening series will take place at the Luminor Hôtel de Ville, Paris over the span of October 3–November 21 2023. Ilppo Pohjola’s Routemaster (1999, in featured image) and Milja Viita’s Bambi (2022) will be shown in the screening titled Ghost in the Machine on Tuesday November 14 2023 at 20:30. Light Cone is a nonprofit organization whose aim is the distribution, promotion and preservation of experimental cinema in France and around the world.

Routemaster is a montage of rhythmically organised repetitions and involves an abstraction of motion that increases in frequency and scale. The basic framework of the film is provided by intercutting two counterposed sets of materials. On the one hand, it uses black-and-white, endlessly accelerating and rhythmically varying images of the inexorable forward motion of the racing cars. On the other hand, it uses colorfull, extreme slow-motion images of details of a chequered flag fluttering in the wind. The escalating speed, growing abstraction and mosaic-like repetition of images leads on to manipulated, yet realistic images of human bodies used in crash tests. In the end, all that is left is the black-and-white flash of speed, the gyrating pulse of the mosaic, the details of the human bodies and the intense soundtrack. Routemaster has some of the qualities of a live concert.

Ilppo Pohjola is an artist and filmmaker based in Helsinki, Finland. He studied at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, USA and at Sheridan College in Toronto, Canada. He graduated from Harrow College of Higher Education in London, UK in 1988. Pohjola has made a number of awarded films, videos and multimedia installations, which have been shown internationally in museum, galleries, cinemas, on TV and at over 100 film festivals, and acquired to private and public collections. He has also works as a designer, photographer and cinematographer.

Milja Viita: Bambi (2022)
Milja Viita: Bambi (2022)

Bambi is a material and pathological study to the Disney classic Bambi (1942), where the film layers and silver halides lure the viewer to the multi-dimension journey into the celluloid.

Milja Viita‘s (b.1974) installations and films consist of experimental and documentary elements. Her works have been exhibited in e.g. Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Kunsthalle Helsinki, Mänttä Art Festival and in film and media art festivals internationally. Milja Viita lives and works in Porvoo, Finland. She graduated with MFA degree in Time and Space Arts from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki in 2005.

Mika Taanila (b. 1965) is a filmmaker and visual artist based in Helsinki, Finland. He works with documentaries, experimental film and visual arts. Human engineering, utopias, failures and man-machines are recurring themes in his films and installations. Taanila’s works have been shown at major international group shows, such as Venice Biennale (Nordic Pavilion 2017), Aichi Triennale (2013), dOCUMENTA (2012), Shanghai Biennale (2006), Berlin Biennale (2004), Manifesta (2002) and Istanbul Biennial (2001). Solo shows include the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in Helsinki (2013–14), Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2013), TENT, Rotterdam (2013) and Galleria Heino, Helsinki (2010). Taanila’s short films have been screened altogether at more than 300 international film festivals and special events. In 2015, Taanila was awarded with the prestigious Ars Fennica Award, the biggest Finnish art award.

Light Cone: Scratch Collection, October 3–November 21 2023, Paris, France

More information: Light Cone